Feeds

Microsoft: IE9 not yet 'broadly' available

Have ye heard o' the interwebs, laddie?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

With Internet Explorer 9 having lost the early download PR war to Firefox 4.0, Microsoft now claims the numbers are unimportant and that it's the "long game" that counts.

Senior director of IE business and marketing Ryan Gavin has blogged that IE9 will be "broadly rolled out" through Windows Update at the "end of June" – that'll be three months after IE9 became available for download.

"Every browser has a mechanism for updating their users from a previous version of a browser to the latest and greatest. For IE9, it is done through Windows Update," Gavin wrote.

Gavin was quick to point out that 24 hours after IE9's actual release there had been 2.3 million downloads of the browser. A week later, though, Firefox 4.0 hit 7.1 million downloads in the same amount of time.

The Reg provided some context to Gavin's data at the time, even before Firefox 4.0 appeared. While IE9 was doing better than IE8 and Apple's Safari 4.0 on Windows in 2009, it was lagging downloads of latest versions of Opera and also had failed to best Firefox 3.0's 2006 rollout.

Others are now assessing what IE9's downloads mean for market share. And just like with IE8, it has turned into the browser equivalent of WWI trench warfare, where a sub–one per cent gain is hailed as "growth" in the way commanders called the seizure of five feet of no man's land an "advance".

Back in the IE8 era, Microsoft was happy to engage in this death-by-decimal-point attrition.

With IE9 failing short, Microsoft is now saying that sub–percentage points are unimportant and that we should wait for the "big push" with Windows Update this summer.

Fair enough, Microsoft – but just stop changing your argument.

"Broad rollout" is of course a complete myth. IE9 is available for download now, on the internet – the broadest download mechanism available to anybody. Firefox and Opera know this to be a fact.

Windows Update, though, was always going to be Microsoft's best bet for sliding IE9 onto more Windows 7 machines, as people just click OK to update the existing software on their PCs. Also, the more time Microsoft gives to IE9, the better the uptake: IE9 doesn't run on Windows XP, so Microsoft needs more Windows 7 in the market to increase its presence.

The one-two punch of Windows Update and more Windows 7 is what Microsoft's IE team is relying on. According to numbers highlighted by Microsoft, Windows XP is still running more than half of PCs on the planet, and Windows 7 less than a quarter.

"In a few months we'll be better placed to look at the share of the latest browser versions and get a sense for relative progress and adoption," Gavin said, apparently trying to convince us as much as he's trying to convince Microsoft. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.